Originally, messengers or postal runners, the Peiks later became an important part in a pompous ceremony at official processions. They always took up their place at the Sultan's right hand side. They were fast athletic runners and could travel great distances without rest. It took them, for example, two days to get from Edirne to Istanbul on foot. They carried a khanjar - dagger in their girdles, a hatchet in their right hands and a handkerchief full of sugar in their left.One of their tasks was to inform the Sultan when the pilgrims had returned from Mecca. The post was abolished in 1828.